Morning Sun
  • Northeast gets long-awaited victory

  • The streak is dead.

    Northeast ended its 19-game losing streak (dating back to 2010) with a 34-14 win Monday night over Fredonia at Samuel J. Nicoletti Field.

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  • The streak is dead.
    Northeast ended its 19-game losing streak (dating back to 2010) with a 34-14 win Monday night over Fredonia at Samuel J. Nicoletti Field.
    Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Fredonia committed turnovers on its first three possessions — a fumble, an interception and a turnover-on-downs — and Northeast converted these miscues into an early 20-0 lead.
    “It was a good start for us,” Northeast head coach Phil Hobbs said. “I was a little concerned. We started out like we did last week. We turned the ball over on our first possession but then we get it right back and we’re able to go down the field and get a score off it. That’s key for us. We haven’t always been able to get those turnovers, the ball just doesn’t bounce our way. In small-school football, you’ve got to have those breaks and now, we’re creating those breaks for us and then we’re taking advantage of them.”
    On its second drive, Northeast drove 57 yards for its first score — a Nick Younge 11-yard catch for a first down, a Killian Willard 9-yard catch, a Kegan Willard 9-yard catch for a first down, a 5-yard offside penalty on Fredonia, a J.T. Richardson 6-yard run for a first down and a Richardson 17-yard TD.
    Northeast required no long drive for its second TD of the night. Sophomore linebacker Antonio Slingluff picked off a lame-duck pass over the middle by left-handed quarterback Luke Plummer and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown, as Slingluff demonstrated his open-field playmaking ability.
    Later in the first, Northeast stopped Fredonia deep in Northeast territory and went on a long scoring drive extending into the second quarter. Richardson capped it off with a 8-yard run, a drive where all 88 yards were generated by Northeast on the ground. Slingluff alone ran for 37 and Richardson added 31.
    “I wanted to spread the ball a little more,” Hobbs said. “I think we did. J.T. had a great game for us last week, even in a loss, you know, running for more than a 100 and passing for more than a 100. I don’t know what his stats are tonight but we put the ball in other people’s hands and spread it out more.”
    However, poor tackling crept back in against Northeast, helping explain why Fredonia gained 292 total yards of offense, eight yards fewer than Northeast in the game. Northeast defenders missed tackles, for example, on Fredonia sophomore running back Tyler Stephens behind the line-of-scrimmage in the second quarter and Stephens stung Northeast for a 60-yard touchdown run and the first points of the game for the Yellowjackets.
    “We had a let-up there right before halftime,” Hobbs said. “We had one where we had the kid caught in the backfield and we didn’t finish the tackle. We don’t know if we’re quite where we need to know how to win yet and finish ballgames. I think we found that there at the end but going into halftime, it was like we were just trying to get by, just trying to hang on to what we have and not lose the game rather than playing the game to win it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Richardson led Northeast with 139 yards rushing and four TDs on 20 carries and passed for 69 yards. Slingluff ran for 59 yards on 10 carries. Younge made a sensational 32-yard catch flat on his back near the end zone to set up another Richardson TD run and Younge derailed a potential Fredonia scoring drive with an interception.
    “We had a lot of kids step up and play,” Hobbs said. “Sammy Brooks, No. 54, did a great job on the offensive line. He was probably giving up 100 pounds (Brooks weighs 155) to their defensive tackle and he was blocking him all night long so we could get to the edge on our jet and our option. He did a great job.”
    Northeast (1-1) won its first game since closing out the 2009 season with a win over Pleasanton. The Vikings now have a short wait before their Friday night road game against Eureka.
    “Here we turn around and play Friday now,” Hobbs said. “We’ve got to go to Eureka and if you lose this game, it’s going to be hard to come back to practice. Here, our kids are going to bounce back (Tuesday) and they’re going to be ready to go. The bumps and the bruises we took tonight are not going to affect them (Tuesday).”

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